Kids, young adults and ideologues of different stripes often see the world as a straight-line progression — the world gradually, but inevitably, becomes more enlightened. Martin Luther King Jr. summarized the view, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
The complaints may sound familiar: Jews were forgetting the ways of their forefathers. They could no longer read, write or speak Hebrew -- having turned to Greek instead. They were not observing the commandments, and could no longer say the prayers. The Sabbath was not being observed: Worse yet, young men were engaging in athletics on the Sabbath, throwing the discus or participating in wrestling competitions (the rabbis were particularly offended that wrestling was in the nude; but my guess is that the Jewish mothers weren't so crazy about all that fighting). There was even a reform movement led by rabbis, Jewish philosophers and Jews practicing new forms of Greek-leavened Judaism.